Weak versus strong mayorThe following are descriptions of Minnesota's weak and strong mayoral systems, according to the League of Minnesota Cities:
By: Jon Swedien, The Republican Eagle
The following are descriptions of Minnesota's weak and strong mayoral systems, according to the League of Minnesota Cities:
Weak Mayor system
"The weak mayor-council plan is by far the most common plan in Minnesota.
"Under the weak mayor-council plan, administrative as well as legislative authority is the ultimate responsibility of the council unless the council has created an independent board, such as a utilities commission, to handle one or more specific functions.
"The mayor's powers in weak mayor-council communities are no greater than those of any other member of the council, with the exception of the mayor's role as presiding officer at council meetings and several other minor duties. No individual council member holds specific administrative powers."
Strong Mayor system
The strong mayor-council plan is rare in Minnesota.
"Home rule charter cities are the only cities that may have this form of organization. Under the strong mayor-council plan, the mayor is responsible for the operation of all administrative agencies and departments within the city.
"If the plan is the conventional, strong mayor-council plan, the mayor:
• Can appoint and remove department heads and other subordinate staff subject to Civil Service provisions where applicable.
• Is not a council member, but can veto council legislation subject to the right of the council to override the veto by an extraordinary majority.
• Prepares and administers a budget that the council approves.
"The chief functions of the council are to legislate and set policies, pass budgets and bond issues, review mayoral and administrative actions."
Red Wing's system
The council is charged with making legislative and budgetary decisions.
The City Council president, not the mayor, presides over council meetings.
The mayor doesn't have a vote but may veto resolutions, ordinances, or budget line items. The veto is subject to a two-thirds override vote by the council.
The mayor is charged with making committee appointments, which must be approved by the council. The mayor does not have the authority to hire or fire administrative personnel.